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Revolutionary CubaA History$
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Luis Martínez-Fernández

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049953

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049953.001.0001

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Fatherland or Death!

Fatherland or Death!

Setting the Revolution's Foundations, 1959–1962

(p.45) 2 Fatherland or Death!
Revolutionary Cuba

Luis Martínez-Fernández

University Press of Florida

Chapter 2 looks at the decisive first four years of revolution, tracing and analyzing the manifold challenges it faced domestically and in the international arena. It traces the processes through which the guerrillas and civilian rebels dismantled the old military, political, and civil society institutions while creating revolutionary institutions such as the mass organizations and a single party dominated by communists. It also covers the deterioration of U.S.-Cuba relations and Cuba’s growing alliances with China and the USSR. These realities, along with a massive exile of Cubans, fostered events such as the imposition of a trade embargo against Cuba, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the Missile Crisis. The chapter evaluates the accomplishments of the revolution by assessing the Agrarian Reform, the Literacy Campaign, and the expansion of medical and education services. It also examines the revolution’s shortcomings by considering government repression, executions, censorship, and food rationing.

Keywords:   Bay of Pigs Invasion, Missile Crisis, exiles, Cuban Exodus, mass organizations, Agrarian Reform, Literacy Campaign, communists, USSR-Cuba Relations, social programs

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